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A holiday surprise for the town of Irmo, budget surplus

A CPA firm from the Upstate made this discovery in an audit completed last week.

IRMO, S.C. — The town of Irmo has good news to share. 

A budget audit done earlier this month offered a bit of a surprise, town leaders learned they have a giant surplus, to the tune of a little over $5M.

You could say it's right on time to be a holiday surprise.

The budget audit done by Highsmith and Highsmith, a CPA firm from the Upstate shows the town only spent around $3.3M of their budget money in the last fiscal year, meaning they have a little over $5M left in reserve. 

"What I did was, I went to some of the departments and said, like the police department and said, instead of just putting a line item, you need new radios, you need new equipment, why don't you go out and look for grants that we can get, that will get you that equipment. And they took that approach and they did. They were able to secure over hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants," Barry Walker the Irmo mayor said.

The town also used ARPA funds instead of budgeted dollars. The police department, public works department, and others applied for around 30 grants and saw success.

Walker tells News 19 this wasn't the mindset in past years, but now that it is, their ultimate goal is to have their budget match the amount of surplus money saved.

Locals tell me they think this model is very fiscally responsible.

"My big concern, and I think it's a national concern, is for infrastructure. Our bridges are deteriorating, our roads need repair, however I must say in Irmo I think we're doing a reasonably good job at maintaining things," Ed Keelen, Irmo area resident said.

The town of Irmo will start planning for the next fiscal year very soon. Something the mayor would like to see budgeted next year is cameras monitored by the police department on busy streets.

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